Bill Winters, Standard Chartered CEO, has stated that he believes cryptocurrencies have a significant role to play in the financial markets and are “here to stay.”
However, he stated that he believes they would eventually be surpassed in importance and growth by other types of digital assets, referring to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), NFTs, and stablecoins.
Still A Role For Digital Assets
Speaking on a conference call after Standard Chartered’s Innovation and Digitisation Event, The CEO stated,
“I think there’s a role for non-fiat currencies, especially when parts of the market are concerned about inflation. “Broadly, we’ve gone through a long period of low inflation, and we’ve got central banks experimenting in uncharted territory with very, very loose monetary policy. It’s perfectly reasonable for people to want an alternative to fiat currency.”
Winter’s comments come a few days after Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, slated Bitcoin, calling the world’s largest cryptocurrency “worthless” during an event on Monday. Dimon has been a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin but stated that the bank would give them “legitimate, as clean as possible, access.”
A Custody Service For Cryptocurrencies
On its part, Standard Chartered, utilizing its innovations and ventures arm, SC Ventures, has announced a partnership with Northern Trust. The result of the partnership is the creation of Zodia Custody, a custody service for investors that want to hold cryptocurrencies. Speaking about the partnership, Winters stated,
“There are fascinating questions about whether completely decentralized cryptocurrencies are preferable to somewhat administered cryptocurrencies. That the market will decide over time, if there’s a role for these instruments in the market, there will be a role for us to support that, always subject to regulatory guardrails.”
Responding To Client Needs
With Standard Chartered becoming more agile towards the needs of its customers, Custody Solutions are one such avenue that the bank is exploring as Winters reshapes the bank after being named its top executive.
The CEO has stated that Standard Chartered would be looking to generate half its income in the medium term from digitizing and transforming its core business. These efforts include Zodia, virtual bank Mox in Hong Kong, and Solv, which is the bank’s business-to-business e-commerce platform in India.
Standard Chartered is also looking to rebalance its investment spending, as the bank looks to double spending on strategic initiatives to $1 billion annually. Commenting on the reshaping of the bank, Winters stated,
“Our innovation is not something off to the side. It is not something in addition to our ongoing transformation of the bank. “It is at the heart.”